PITTSBURGH — The slow starts for Pitt basketball continued on Wednesday, as the Panthers slogged to another first-half deficit against a beatable Atlantic Coast Conference foe in Boston College.
But their comeback game has improved.
Pitt roared back from a 14-point first-half deficit to beat Boston College, with Ryan Murphy’s transition jump shot with 3.6 seconds to play capping the 74-72 victory at Petersen Events Center.
With the win, the Panthers improved to 13-6 on the season and 4-4 in ACC play, besting their conference win total from the 2018-19 and 2017-18 seasons combined.
Justin Champagnie was the early spark for the Panthers. With Pitt trailing by 14 late in the first half, Ryan Murphy hit a pull-up 3-pointer in transition and then Champagnie went off, finishing the half on a personal 6-0 run to allow the Panthers to head to the locker room down just five.
The Pitt run continued on the other side of the break, with an Xavier Johnson free-throw giving the Panthers the lead at 17:19 of the second half as Pitt extended its streak around the break to 17-0.
Pitt then went from trailing big to leading big only to see the Eagles close once again late. Four Pitt turnovers in the final four minutes helped Boston College tie the game in the final minute before Murphy’s late shot secured the win.
Champagnie finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead Pitt in both categories. He was 8 of 14 from the floor.
Au’Diese Toney had 16 points on a hyper-efficient 7 of 9 shooting line. He added five rebounds. Also in double figures were Trey McGowens with 14 points, Murphy scored 11 and Xavier Johnson had nine points and 10 assists.
Boston College built its early lead with some hot 3-point shooting. The Eagles sank 9 of 22 (40.9%) from long range in the first half and frequently picked apart Pitt’s zone defense. Pitt mostly abandoned the zone in the second half and tightened up, holding BC to 4 of 13 from long range.
Up next, Pitt will visit Syracuse on Saturday. That game has a noon tip.